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University Certificate

Expert academics

Research under professionals who are experts in their field

Study in our £30m Science Centre

Enjoy specialist laboratories with the latest equipment

Bespoke Facilities

Taught in our dedicated counselling facilities

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
1 Year
Start date:
Book onto an Open Day Enquire about this course Apply now

Whether you’re planning a career as a counsellor, or need counselling skills in your current employment, our Certificate provides an essential foundation for your development.

This one year part-time Certificate is designed to provide you with both practical experience and theoretical understanding of counselling theory, ethics, counselling skills, and personal development.

Building on the Introduction to Basic Skills in Counselling course, it can prepare you for further study to become a qualified counsellor, or can be taken by people from other professions who want to improve their counselling skills, such as teachers and nurses.

You’ll be taught by qualified and practising counsellors with wide-ranging experience, and develop your skills working with other students in small groups.

We have dedicated counselling facilities including a specialist base room, three purpose-designed counselling rooms, and a video observation suite.

The course includes a compulsory residential weekend at Brathay Hall near Ambleside in the Lake District, where you’ll take part in group activities and experiential skills exercises.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: University Certificate Counselling

Course content

The 27-week programme involves four scheduled hours of lectures, tuition and group sessions per week.  We offer two different delivery times, either Mondays 9-1pm or Thursdays from 5 – 9pm.

Two modules run concurrently throughout the year:

  • Counselling Theory and Ethics
  • Counselling Skills and Personal Development

You’ll complete two assignments for each module.

We teach five different theories of counselling, giving you a broad view of approaches to prepare you for further study. The taught theories align with those used by professional training courses at Staffordshire University.

As part of your personal development, you’ll keep a journal, reflecting on your experiences and helping you to develop an awareness of your own beliefs and values.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Year 1 compulsory modules
Counselling Skills, Personal And Professional Development 30 credits
Counselling Theory, Ethics And Professional Issues 30 credits

You’ll need:

  • A reference
  • To have successfully completed an Introduction to Basic Counselling Skills course or equivalent (a 30-hour face-to-face skills course)

You'll also need to successfully complete an interview to be accepted onto the course.



Many students on this course go on to further study to become qualified counsellors. Staffordshire University offers British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited Professional Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and an MSc course.

Qualified counsellors go on to work in areas including:

• NHS counselling

• Voluntary organisations

• Schools

• Private practice

Many students are already in roles where counselling skills are relevant such as:

• Teaching

• Chaplaincy

• Nursery nursing

• NHS professions

• University mentoring

• Helping professions in the voluntary sector

Teaching and assessment


The Counselling Theory and Ethics module is taught in a large interactive group by experienced counsellors and lecturers who are currently in practice.

The personal development element is taught in a reflective space, with around 12 students to each lecturer.

The skills element is taught in small groups with tutor and peer observation. You’ll have the opportunity to work with creative techniques in skills sessions.


Your performance on the course will be assessed in a number of ways. For Ethics you’ll be given a series of ethical dilemmas to discuss. For Theory you’ll need to submit an essay comparing two counselling theories.

You’ll be assessed by skills recording and critique of the session. For Personal Development, you’ll give a summary of your journal, reflecting on your developing self-awareness and changes you may have made during the course that inform your developing counsellor role.

You’ll also need to attend at least 80% of the course sessions plus the residential weekend to successfully complete the award.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You’ll receive weekly feedback on your skills development, and be taught how to give peer feedback at group sessions.

We’ll provide feedback on your assignments within 20 days of submission.

You’ll receive two tutorials during the year – or more if required.

There will also be opportunities for you to give feedback on your experience of the course.


Beverley Meakin
Beverley MeakinSenior Lecturer

I have 15 years' experience of providing counselling with a relational focus for couples, individuals and families.I currently teach on the Postgraduate/Professional Diploma and MSc Psychotherapeutic Counselling.

Read full profile
Keith Walmsley-Smith
Keith Walmsley-SmithLecturer in Counselling and Psychology.

I teach across a wide spectrum of courses, all involving counselling approaches to psychology. I'm interested in what motivates people to train in therapeutic work, and how the training process impacts upon them and their relationships.

Read full profile
Jim Zacune
Jim ZacuneLecturer in Counselling

I’m a social psychologist and have been involved in counsellor training for 20 years.

Natasha Rae-Dean
Natasha Rae-DeanLecturer in Counselling

I’m a counsellor with experience of working in bereavement- and trauma-based settings, and now run a private practice.

When studied part time, the duration of the course and the amount of fees you’ll pay each year depends on the speed at which you wish to progress through it. This is called the ‘intensity of study’. The usual study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study. This would be equivalent to studying at 50 per cent course intensity.

If you follow this pattern of study you will complete the course in six years. You will pay the pro rata (equivalent) fee shown for your first year of study. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX*. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any increase as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

*RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Applications are currently unavailable.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

22/09/2019 10:09:01 / Counselling / Part-time / 13.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-07276 / Direct link